I’m starting a new feature here on Save the Media: short takes. I’m hoping it will be a way to share quickly some cool stuff other journo bloggers are doing in a concise manner. So here goes. (And I promise, I will get back to my series on how social-networking sites can help journalists.)
Not just a town crier: Steve Yelvington over at Yelvington.com has a great post on the three primary roles a newspaper Web site should play. He uses a diagram like the ones you used in grade school when you were learning about sets and subsets to explain that the Web site should be part town crier, town expert and town square with overlap of the three roles. It’s an apt explanation of the evolution newspapers need to make online, and, as he points out, most newspapers have only the town crier role down.
10 things every journalist should know in 2009: These come from Journalism.co.uk (via Mark Hamilton at Notes from a Teacher) A sampling: Every journalist should know how to use Twitter to build community and cover their beats; that multimedia for multimedia’s sake rarely works; how to employ search-engine optimization techniques. As I’ve written before, new media tools alone won’t cure what ails journalism, but they are becoming an essential part of the journalist’s job. Learn ‘em now.
The future of Twitter: Twitter hit the mainstream of the blogosphere in 2008, but Rachel Cunliffe, who runs a blog design company, predicts on Mashable that this year “Twitter will become much more tightly integrated with the rest of the blog in a variety of ways .” Among her views of the future: Twitter will move out of the sidebar on blogs and into the main blog posts, and blog readers will be able to comment on a tweet displayed in a blog whether they are a Twitter user or not. Hope those journalists who shun Twitter are listening.
What newspapers need to do right now: Rod Overton, the recently laid-off web guru, offers eight tips for newspapers on the Online Community Strategist blog. Best takeaway: Start really looking at analytics and studying what you are doing well and do more of that. Web sites give newspapers a chance for really the first time to see how many people are going to a particular story (or blog). Don’t ignore that information. Don’t worry about hurting bloggers’ feeling (but, obviously, still be nice.) If a blog isn’t drawing traffic or creating a community after you’ve given it a fair shot, fix it or kill it. I’m not saying get obsessed over stats, but look at trends over time and see if there’s improvement. (Don’t turn into the TV networks and pull the plug without giving the blog (show) a chance to prove itself, but don’t let it linger through a lengthy illness either; the blogger could be doing something else.) As Albert Einstein said: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Stumble Upon: Old Media New Tricks has a post today about how journalists can use the social bookmarking site, Stumble Upon, to create a following for their content and generate traffic. I admit I’ve stumbled around on Stumble Upon a bit but haven’t made it a habit. Yet. I plan to use some of the ideas in this post to play with it more until I can make it be useful for me. Hope you will, too.
What’s your best tip? Share.